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Monday, October 10, 2011

Raise a Happy Child Part 5


Help your kids unwind

“Modern kids are busy kids. Regardless of age, their days are filled with activities and it’s not uncommon for kids to have four and five extracurricular activities a week,” says Grose. “There’s nothing wrong with kids being busy as long as they also have plenty of chances to relax and unwind. Relaxation is a key to good mental health and wellbeing and it’s an important life skill for kids to learn.
“One way to ensure busy kids unwind is to allow them to be bored every so often. There’s a temptation to fill days with activities so that no time is wasted. ‘I’m bored!’ is often the last thing parents want to hear their kids say. Many parents feel compelled to do something to alleviate a child’s boredom. But there’s nothing wrong with a little boredom now and then,” he says. “Boredom can be good for kids’ mental health and wellbeing, because it gives them the chance to muck around and take it easy for a time.”


How to unwind your kids:

  • Let your kids stare into the ‘fire’. The TV is the modern version of the camp fire. No need for exertion, to think or talk to anyone, just a chance to chill out and relax. Yes, TV used in this way regularly is good for kids’ mental health.
  • Let kids exercise without rules. Children have always been the kings and queens of play, that is until their lives became highly organised and scheduled. Child-initiated play is the ultimate in relaxation.
  • Let kids experience flow. Flow is a state we get into when we’re so engrossed in an activity that time disappears. It’s the ultimate unwind. Free play generally takes young children to flow state very quickly.
  • Help kids calm down before bedtime. Have a bedtime routine that calms kids rather than winds them up. Be part of the routine by reading, telling nursery rhymes or giving soothing back rubs.
  • Unwind with your kids. Do something together that you both enjoy.

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